Grief’s not quite like that

It’s the episode of Army Wives where Roxy loses her baby. She miscarriages, spends a few days moping around the house and making friends with the dog, even though you can see that she’s depressed like anything. There seems to be an unspoken agreement between Roxy and Trevor, her husband; both deeply mourn the loss of the baby and yet they don’t blame each other.

The key thing is though, is how Roxy deals with her grief. She goes about life in this sort of “numb, I’m physically getting better” state until a seemingly small and random incident. She calls Trevor up and asks him to get a new sofa for the house they were going to move into. He denies, and when she presses, he reveals that they’ve lost the new house due to Roxy’s miscarriage.

They end the conversation, and she finally cries. When Roxy breaks down, it’s like I’m really watching reality now. Because finally, the grief is settling in. It’s like before this, when the bad things happen, your body and mind go into this state of shock that insulates you from feeling the full emotional force of what happened. Your body recognises the intense vulnerability of your mind, and the mind does likewise, and so both work to keep you sane.

Until a seemingly random and usually insignificant incident triggers an emotional outburst.

And the tears flow. Your body starts shaking, the sobs won’t stop and you’re struggling to draw breath and scream and cry at the same time.

And you cry. You cry till your throat hurts and your eyes dry and your face is wet. You cry until you think the tears won’t end, the hurt won’t stop, the grief won’t go away.

And then you sleep.

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